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Posts Tagged ‘comme des garcons

The smARTORIALIST: Kingdom Comme [pt.2]

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We’re revisiting Kindom Comme: the key choices that Comme des Garcons has made to become a luxe-hybrid brand. In the last installment [Part 1], I mentioned the Junya Watanabe Effect. For a little background info, Junya became an apprentice at Comme des Garcons in 1984, working as a patternmaker. Now, through several power moves, Junya became one of the most influential designers at the label — in fact, he’s responsible for much of the Homme line’s character.  Eventually he was given the appropriate title of “Rei’s Protege”.

eye Junya Watanabe x Comme des Garcons x Dickies

Junya has a keen interest in using “technologically-advanced textiles and fabrics”, not to mention his use of cotton. [HOW CROSS-OVER is THAT!!]  Think back to some of Junya’s most noted contributions — they come in the form of collaborations. And whom does he collaborate with…Iconic Sneaker Brands. Converse, New Balance, Nike, and Vans all have been blessed by the Rei Protege’ (under eYe), just as runways in Paris and Milan have. And the whole time, Junya’s connection to Comme only strengthened, doing more exploration of patterns and male silhouettes with his label eYe and Comme des Garcons at the helm. “How did Comme benefit,” you ask. Well, they were provided with the PERFECT Petri dish to test nontraditional Comme des Garcons concepts…..like working with common treasures.

Nike x Watanabe

new-balance-1500-eye-comme-des-garcons-junya-watanabe-man Junya Watanabe x Vans

Converse x Watanabe

Stay tuned for Part 3 of Kingdom Comme, where we’ll discuss the positioning tactics Comme has used to broaden it’s luxe-hybrid market.

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Written by great8productions

April 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm

The smARTORIALIST: Kingdom Comme [pt.1]

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Rei Kawakubo

Let’s face it, Luxury brands aren’t for everyone — by design. Whether it’s the cost, the availability, or the product construct, luxury labels present a huge barrier-to-entry. However, Comme des Garcons has been slowly transforming into what we call, the Luxe-Hybrid — an entity that straddles the fence between fashion elitism and common trend.

Rei Kawakubo has been known for her avant garde style, infusing deconstruction concepts, asymmetry, and monochromatic colour treatments into garments for years. And up until recently — these looks were merely…looks: ensembles so impractical or unattainable that “fiscally-challenged” trendsetters could only use the pictures for inspiration. Between 1969 and 2009 — Rei & Co. had a change of heart…or something like it (Let’s just name that the Junya Watanabe Effect — we’ll come back to this).

Somewhere along the line, Comme embraced “the collaboration”. They have brought the labels’ high-end style concepts to several of the industry’s reputable yet more “practical” brands — strategically placing Comme des Garcons within the grasp of  cult followers. And in my humble smartorialistic opinion, therein marks the definitive luxe-hybrid turning point. In this 4 part smARTORIALIST series , we will discuss Kindom Comme: the key choices that Comme des Garcons has made to sustain it’s luxury-edge while gently floating down to Earth (or somewhere near it’s atmosphere). Stay tuned.

Written by great8productions

March 18, 2009 at 3:07 pm